In Maryland prices at pump average at $3.71.
Prices at the pump continue to retreat from an atypical September rally of daily gas price records, where prices peaked at $3.87 per gallon nationally. Despite these record highs, prices have begun to decrease following the end to the summer driving season, the resolution of regional supply and distribution issues, and the end of summer-blend gasoline specifications for much of the country on September 15. The national average price for a gallon of regular self-serve gasoline fell to $3.79 per gallon Friday, 4 cents lower than one week ago and a penny below month ago prices. However, gas prices are 32 cents above year ago prices.
Crude oil fluctuated within the $90 to $93 per barrel range for most of the week, even settling just below $90 ($89.98) a barrel mid-week for the first time since August 2. However, prices rebounded Thursday as fears over Iran resurfaced. The dispute between the West and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program could lead to supply disruptions in the Middle East and North Africa, therefore increasing crude oil prices. Europe’s debt problems also impacted crude oil prices as Spain’s economy continues to slow and anti-austerity protestors and police clashed in Athens and Madrid. Domestically, the U.S. Federal Reserve initiated a third round of measures to revive growth in the world's biggest economy. Crude oil closed Thursday at $91.85 per barrel and as of midday Friday, the commodity continued trading around the $91 barrel range. Crude oil is on target to post a nearly 6 percent gain for the third quarter, after a 17.5-percent second quarter dive.
"Gasoline prices at the pump have been making a slow descent from their summer peak as crude oil costs drop, but drivers may still have to wait a few weeks for lower prices to really catch on," said Christine Sarames Delise, Public Affairs Specialist for AAA Mid-Atlantic. "AAA expects gas prices to continue to decline as we move further into the fall and approach the end of the year."
Historically, gas prices tend to fall from September through Christmas. AAA Mid-Atlantic expects this trend, which has held true for seven of the previous nine years, to continue in 2012 and predicts that the national average price will continue to fall as we approach the end of the year. Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service and AAA gas price partner believes gasoline prices are almost certain to drop significantly in November, the month when the biggest drops typically occur due to all refineries switching to a cheaper made winter-blend fuel.